ON-loan keeper Carl Ikeme is set to make his Doncaster Rovers debut in today’s eagerly-awaited South Yorkshire derby against Barnsley at Oakwell.
It will be the 25 year-old Wolves shot-stopper’s second visit to Oakwell this season - he helped Middlesbrough record a 3-1 win there whilst on loan at the Riverside club.
“I’ve been there a few times over the years and it’s a bit hostile place even if you are not from around here,” he said.
“So with it being a local derby I can’t imagine what it will be like. But I’m looking forward to it and if we get the right result at the end it will be even better.”
Ikeme’s stay on Teesside was cut short by a hand injury and he had returned to Wolves for treatment before Tony Mowbray’s side checked in at the Keepmoat Stadium at the start of the month.
The 6ft 2in tall keeper recently signed a new contract with the Premier League club prior to linking up with Rovers last week.
His loan spell at Rovers is the latest in a series of short-term moves - he’s also spent time at Leicester, QPR and Sheffield United - designed to get more matches under his belt.
“It can be difficult (joining a new club) but at the end of the day I’m looking at it as a good experience,” he told The Star. “Everyone works differently and hopefully I pick up a few tips along the way. I’ve watched Neil Sullivan over the years when I was a bit younger and he’s done it all so hopefully I can learn something from him.”
Explaining how he ended up at the Keepmoat Stadium, Ikeme said: “I had a chat with the gaffer and he told me what his visions for the club were and after that I just wanted to come here and play.”
Ikeme says that he has quickly settled in at the club.
“All the lads are wicked,” he said. “The club have brought in some big-name players (in recent weeks) and other big names are getting linked with them.
“But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who you’ve got in the squad it’s about everyone pulling together.
“We’ve got to look to try and get out of the bottom three, which isn’t going to be easy, and once we’ve done that we can start looking at trying to climb the table.
“I’ve only been here for a week so I can’t really say what we need to do to get out of the relegation zone, but every team has to work hard and stick together. There is a lot of talent in the changing room so if we all work hard and and pull together then hopefully results will start picking up.”